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May 1974

Epidermal Inclusion Cysts

Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(5):736. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630050070024

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To the Editor.—  In the August issue of the Archives (108:257,258, 1973) there is a report of what purports to be "an unusual case of molluscum contagiosum occurring in epidermal inclusion cysts." I believe this diagnosis to be due to an error in histologic interpretation. What the authors have pictured are not "epidermal inclusion cysts," but merely tangential sections through contiguous, dilated, horn-filled pilar infundibula, the epithelial cells of which contain the characteristic "bodies" of molluscum contagiosum.The accompanying schematic drawings portray the histologic characteristics of molluscum contagiosum when a cut is tangential (Fig 1) and when the section is properly oriented, ie, when the cut is perpendicular (Fig 2). It can be seen that the histopathologic alteration of molluscum contagiosum is confined to pilar infundibula and not to the intervening or surrounding epidermis.There is truly no such structural anomaly as "epidermal inclusion cyst." The structures that are being

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